If you have a visual, hearing, physical or other impairment which means the standard manner in which the test is set up requires change, e.g. alternative format or additional rest breaks, you should apply for special testing conditions as soon as possible after registration.
All such requests must be submitted no later than 4 February 2013 and must be accompanied by an explanatory letter from a registered health practitioner. This letter must be no more than one year old for a medical condition and no more than three years old for a learning disability. The letter from your practitioner must give clear information on your condition as it affects your ability to sit HPAT – Ireland.
Applicants with dyslexia should submit a copy of an appropriate educational psychologist’s report (no more than 3 years old) for consideration. If your report is more than 3 years old, it will still be accepted, as long as it is accompanied by a recent letter from a psychologist stating that the information in the report is still applicable to you as you are today. All reasonable efforts will be made to provide appropriate testing conditions for your needs.
Some examples of conditions and possible accommodations are provided below. These examples are in no way exhaustive and should be used for guidance only. As requests are assessed on a case by case basis, some allowances may not be relevant to a candidate’s personal situation.
Diabetes: permission to take blood glucose testing kit, insulin and food/drink into the test centre
Hand/wrist/arm/shoulder injury: permission to mark answers in the test booklet or scribe provided
Hearing loss: candidate seated at the front of the room and written instructions provided
Visual impairment: colour or larger print test papers provided
Applicants with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties should accompany their statement with a copy of an appropriate educational psychologist’s report (no more than 3 years old) for consideration. All reasonable efforts will be made to provide appropriate testing conditions for approved candidates.
While there is no possibility of special consideration being given to test results or HPAT scores being adjusted to account for any perceived disadvantage, school leavers with a disability are advised to also apply under the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) whilst mature applicants are advised to also apply under mature student access routes (details available on each university website).
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points/score basis (i.e. based on combined school leaving certificate and HPAT) to school leavers with disabilities. DARE has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that disability can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.
Each university taking part in the DARE scheme has allocated a limited number of places on their medical programmes on a reduced points basis for students entering through DARE.
This number or quota is different for each university and RCSI. You can get details of the quotas on the website of each college and university that takes part in the DARE scheme.
If you are applying for the DARE scheme, you must:
* give evidence confirming that your disability has had a significant impact on your educational performance
* meet the minimum entry (matriculation) and subject requirements of the colleges or universities to which you are applying
* compete for one of the quota places based on your Leaving Certificate results